How many advanced, astrological degrees and certifications are available? Hundreds. Can you be sure if you'll be getting what you pay for? Not hardly. And what of issues like validity and accreditation? Organizations like The American Federation of Astrologers and the National Council for Geocosmic Research provide classes, exams and certification for those who wish to be "professional" astrologers. Yet, there is still debate about implementation of a set course curriculum that all astrologers must adhere to. Issues like ethics, standard of practice and changing astrological theory are still heavy topics.
And what about specialty practice? Shouldn't we, like doctors, lawyers and psychologists have the opportunity to choose a set specialty in which clients can more readily utilize our services? Even today, the astrological standard, i.e. love, money and career remain the astrologer's bread and butter. This, in itself, is quite understandable, as these issues are quite important to the human psyche and concern about these matters are foremost in our minds. Counseling clients on these issues can sometimes lead to the ferreting out of deeper, less apparent subjects. Yet in my experience, some astrologers don't always know how to "deal" with more psychological fare. What's easier-telling your client that she'll meet her Mr. Right very soon or explaining to her that due to several areas of dysfunction, she will be sure to chase her love interests away-unless she fixes certain aspects of her life?
Sex, death and regeneration of spirit, all Plutonian matters (my pet subject) can be difficult areas. We are all human beings therefore despite enlightenment or "new age" attitude some of us (even astrologers) do not feel comfortable discussing them! When astrology became more than just a hobby for me, I decided to view my birth chart in terms of: What can I offer my clients? What is my special talent? What areas am I most comfortable with? Lucky for me, (unlucky for clients who wanted standard astrology fare) I already had an idea of what I was good at. In school, I majored in psychology and sociology because they were my favorite subjects. They still are. I suppose this is because of my need to go "deeper". I must do more than scratch the surface if I am to understand my clients accurately. For me, there is no other option.
Astrology tells us to use the 10th house (career, status) and the 6th house (work) to determine a person's career path. But as someone who had a specific career in mind, namely astrology, I looked to Mercury (commerce, communication, bringer of news) and Uranus (higher octave of Mercury, astrology, radical expression) and their standing within my chart.
Scorpio is the sign upon my Ascendant (the researcher, investigator). Since I use the Placidus House System, Capricorn is intercepted within my third house of communications leaving Uranus-ruled Aquarius as the primary sign. Mercury-ruled Gemini sits on the cusp of my 8th house (sex, death, mysteries, research) while Mercury-ruled Virgo is the cusp of my 10th house (of course Cancer is intercepted in the 9th as it is opposite Capricorn on the 3/9 axis). Mercury, ruler of both my 8th and 10th houses is in Aquarius in the 2nd house (talents, resources, things of importance). Mercury conjuncts my moon and squares Uranus in Scorpio in the 12th. Uranus is exalted in Scorpio and likes radical forms of healing the subconscious (the 12th). Without boring you more with the intricacies of my chart, lets just say that I knew what my specialty was. I counsel people in an attempt to get them to open up the parts of themselves that they hide from everyone, including themselves. I advise clients on subconscious feelings, secrets and painful subjects that have made life harder for them. I believe in the use of meditation, chakra therapy and yes, even magical methods to help heal wounds and give people the ability to progress to the plane of existence they wish to exist on. I do advise those in real need to contact medical doctors and psychologists when I feel it is warranted or when their difficulties go beyond my scope of study.
I hope that my clients receive the kind of counseling that they need, even if it was not what they were initially looking for. I know that they've inspired me-I'm currently finishing my degree in (you guessed it) Psychology.